Snail Foraging Data.xlsx from Resource distribution and internal factors interact to govern movement of a freshwater snail
2019-09-11T13:55:32Z (GMT) by
Movement enables mobile organisms to respond to local environmental conditions and is driven by a combination of external and internal factors operating at multiple scales. Here, we explored how resource distribution interacted with the internal state of organisms to drive patterns of movement. Specifically, we tracked snail movements on experimental landscapes where resource (algal biofilm) distribution varied from 0 to 100% coverage and quantified how that movement changed over a 24 h period. Resource distribution strongly affected snail movement. Trajectories were tortuous (i.e. Brownian-like) within resource patches but straighter (i.e. Lévy) in resource-free (bare) patches. The average snail speed was slower in resource patches, where snails spent most of their time. Different patterns of movement between resource and bare patches explained movement at larger spatial scales; movement was ballistic-like Lévy in resource-free landscapes, Lévy in landscapes with intermediate resource coverage and approximated Brownian in landscapes covered in resources. Our temporal analysis revealed that movement patterns changed predictably for snails that satiated their hunger and then performed other behaviours. These changes in movement patterns through time were similar across all treatments that contained resources. Thus, external and internal factors interacted to shape the inherently flexible movement of these snails.